- Leader–member exchange (LMX) differentiation and work outcomes: Conceptual clarification and critical review
According to leader–member exchange (LMX) theory, leaders develop different quality relationships with followers in their team (termed LMX differentiation). An important theoretical question concerns how different LMX relationships within a team affect followers’ work outcomes. This paper provides a critical review of the concept of LMX differentiation. We propose that the LMX differentiation process leads to patterns of LMX relationships that can be captured by 3 properties (central tendency, variation, and relative position). We describe a taxonomy illustrating the different ways these properties have been conceptualized and measured. We identify 2 approaches to LMX differentiation as being a “perspective of the team” (that are shared perceptions amongst team members) or a “perspective of the follower” (subjective perceptions unique to each follower). These perspectives lead to different types of measures that predict different outcomes at the individual and team levels. We describe theoretical models employed to explain the effects of LMX differentiation (justice, social comparison, and social identity theories). Generally, the lower the within-team variation in LMX or the more a team member’s LMX is higher than the mean team LMX, the better are the work outcomes, but many moderators condition these effects. Finally, we identify some key areas for future research.
- Antecedents and consequences of satisfaction with work–family balance: A moderating role of perceived insider status
This study developed a moderated mediation model to investigate how family-supportive paid leave and supervision affect employees’ satisfaction with work–family balance and in turn their affective organizational commitment and supervisor-directed organizational citizenship behavior depending on their perceived insider status in the organization. Our analysis of data collected from 118 employee–supervisor dyads in Korean organizations revealed that satisfaction with work–family balance mediated the linkages from family-supportive supervision to affective organizational commitment and supervisor-directed organizational citizenship behavior, and the linkage from family-supportive paid leave to affective organizational commitment. Results further showed that the entire mediational process for family-supportive supervision was more pronounced for those who perceived themselves to be an insider of their organizations, while the same pattern was not found for the meditational process related to family-supportive paid leave. Our findings provide theoretical implications for work–family balance research and offer practical suggestions to make employees satisfied with work–family balance.
- Self-protective reactions to peer abusive supervision: The moderating role of prevention focus and the mediating role of performance instrumentality
Across 3 studies, we apply a self-protection perspective of observed mistreatment to examine a moderated mediation model on “when” and “why” third parties are motivated by peer abusive supervision. We hypothesize that prevention-focused third parties will increase their performance effort as a response to peer abusive supervision, and this effect is mediated by performance instrumentality. In a field study of working adults (Study 1) and an experimental study that manipulated peer abusive supervision (Study 2), we found that peer abusive supervision interacted with third parties’ prevention focus to predict their performance effort such that peer abuse was positively related to third parties’ performance effort only for those high on prevention focus. Results were replicated in a second field study of working adults (Study 3). Further, we found support for the mediating effect of performance instrumentality. The theoretical and practical implications of our results are discussed.
- Attachment theory at work: A review and directions for future research
The influence of attachment theory on organizational scholarship is growing, with more articles published on the subject in the past 5 years than the preceding 25 years combined. Prior research and reviews have primarily focused on attachment styles and their relationship with organizational outcomes. However, in the past 5 years, organizational scholars have begun exploring new directions in attachment research such as situational influences on attachment states, attachment as a moderating variable, and attachment as a dynamic process in various forms of work relationships. These advances offer new directions for organizational behavior research, notably through the lens of the attachment behavioral system—an innate psychological system that accounts for why and how people seek support from others. In this paper, we provide an overarching framework for understanding attachment dynamics in organizations and review key findings from attachment theory research on dyadic relationships, group dynamics, and the employee–organization relationship. We further discuss promising areas for future organizational research on attachment, as well as methodological developments in the priming of attachment states.
- How do flexibility i-deals relate to work performance? Exploring the roles of family performance and organizational context
Drawing on the work–home resources model and conservation of resources theory, in this study, we explore how flexibility idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) relate to employees’ work performance through their family performance. In line with the work–home resources model, we introduce 2 contextual conditions to explain when our proposed associations may unfold. One is a facilitator: perceived organizational support; and the other is a stressor: perceived hindering work demands. The results of a matched sample of employees and their supervisors working in 2 companies in El Salvador support our hypotheses. Our findings show that the benefits of flexibility i-deals to the work domain (i.e., work performance) extend only through the family domain (i.e., family performance). Our findings also emphasize that flexibility i-deals do not unfold in a dyadic vacuum: For employees who perceive organizational support to be higher, the association between flexibility i-deals and family performance is stronger, whereas for employees who perceive hindering work demands to be lower, the association between family performance and employee work performance is also stronger. We contribute to i-deals research by (a) exploring a relevant mechanism through which flexibility i-deals influence work performance, (b) integrating the role of social context to emphasize the social aspects of i-deals, and (c) enriching the i-deals literature by introducing a resource perspective.
- Are two cynics better than one? Toward understanding effects of leader–follower (in-)congruence in social cynicism
Prior research suggests that leaders’ social cynicism can undermine important follower outcomes such as followers’ motivation and performance. However, these studies have exclusively focused on leaders’ social cynicism and neglected that followers’ views on the social world might also influence the leadership process. On the basis of theories of social beliefs and person–supervisor fit, we offer an integrative perspective and predict that it is the congruence between leaders’ and followers’ social cynicism that shapes leadership dynamics. Data from 116 leader–follower dyads from a broad range of organizations and industries support our model: Polynomial regression and response surface analyses show significant congruence effects of leaders’ and followers’ social cynicism on followers’ extra-role behaviors and followers’ proactive work behaviors. These positive effects of congruence on follower outcomes are transmitted by leader–member exchange quality. Finally, congruence effects are stronger when leaders’ and followers’ social cynicism is low rather than high. Overall, our study suggests that it is the correspondence between leaders’ and followers’ social cynicism that influences followers’ leader–member exchange, extra-role, and proactive behavior. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings for designing functional leader–follower dyads in organizations.
- Congruence work in stigmatized occupations: A managerial lens on employee fit with dirty work
Although research has established that it is often difficult for individuals engaged in dirty work to adjust to stigma and the attributes giving rise to stigma, little theory or empirical work addresses how managers may help workers adjust to dirty work. Interviews with managers across 18 dirty work occupations—physically tainted (e.g., animal control), socially tainted (e.g., corrections), and morally tainted (e.g., exotic entertainment)—indicate that managers engage in “congruence work”: behaviors, sensemaking, and sensegiving that they perceive as helping individuals adjust and develop a stronger sense of person–environment fit. Specifically, congruence work focuses on 3 phases of managerial practices that correspond to individuals’ growing experience in the occupation. First, recruitment/selection involves overcoming individuals’ aversion to dirty work by selecting individuals with an affinity for the work and providing a realistic stigma preview. Second, socialization involves helping newcomers adjust to distasteful tasks and to stigma by using targeted divestiture, developing perspective taking, helping newcomers manage external relationships, and utilizing desensitization or immersion. Third, ongoing management roles involve cementing individuals’ fit by fostering social validation, protecting workers from dirty work hazards, and negotiating the frontstage/backstage boundary. The practices identified as congruence work highlight the important role that managers can play in facilitating adjustment for both “dirty workers” and presumably their less stigmatized counterparts.
- Assessing the not-invented-here syndrome: Development and validation of implicit and explicit measurements
The not-invented-here (NIH) syndrome has been called one of the largest obstacles in innovation management, preventing effective knowledge transfer between organizational units and individuals. NIH is defined as a negatively shaped attitude towards knowledge that has to cross a disciplinary, spatial, or organizational boundary, resulting in either its suboptimal utilization or its rejection. Our goal is to equip scholars with appropriate measurement instruments for the phenomenon. On the basis of 4 studies with 1,238 subjects overall, we developed an implicit measure based on the implicit-association test as well as an explicit (survey) measure of NIH, taking into account theoretical insights on attitude structure. We provide evidence for reliability as well as construct and criterion validity. We want to facilitate further research on NIH and knowledge transfer (a) by providing a better theoretical framework for NIH on the basis of the tripartite componential model of attitudes, (b) by demonstrating the application of association-based implicit measures for management research, and (c) by providing a validated multidimensional survey scale to measure NIH explicitly. We also provide recommendations on how managers can utilize the NIH measurement instruments to investigate NIH and potential countermeasures in detail and they can test the behavioral outcomes postulated by previous research.